100% All-Natural Content
No Artificial Intelligence!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

North Carolina schools: Dark sarcasm in the classroom...

Photo: Gerry Broome, AP
Apparently following the recent examples of others throughout the country, today thousands of teachers from across North Carolina descended upon the streets of Raleigh to demand more money, resources, and... well, what exactly?
Many and perhaps even most school systems in North Carolina cancelled classes entirely.  There were not enough substitutes to fill in for the full-time teachers who had declared their intent to be absent.  Effectively abandoning their students while they themselves, festooned in new red t-shirts, took bus caravans to the state capital.
How much in scarce financial resource got burned up for today's exercise in political activism?  And why couldn't it have been done on a Saturday, when school was out and even more teachers would be free to make the trip and show solidarity?
"Yes Miss Loudermilk, I can spell 'hypocrisy'.  H, I, P, P, O..."
Fine.  Let's look at the facts:
North Carolina teachers have seen a 19% increase in pay over the past three years and another increase is happening this year. The funding already exists and there is PLENTY of it.  Public education is already more than half of the state government's annual budget.
Unfortunately administrative waste is at an all time high.  Both in the central offices in Raleigh and throughout too many of the local systems "from Murphy to Manteo" as the song says.  THAT is the real drain on the coffers.
Slash and burn away the unnecessary detritus in administration costs and there is more than an ample supply of funding for the teachers, for classroom supplies, for new technology.  And if some proceeds are allowed to be freed up from the North Carolina Education Lottery instead of being earmarked for new school construction (ehhhh... it IS going to new school construction, right?) the teachers will have more money for purposes of education than they would know what to do with.
So how much more money must be demanded? When does the actual problem finally get addressed? What was the purpose of today's march that was so direly pressing it required closing entire school systems? And... if I may dare to ask... would this same event have been organized had the party makeup of the state legislature been different?  Who paid for all of those red t-shirts anyway?  King and Gandhi didn't need name branding in the furtherance of their causes.  And they still succeeded!
At the risk of alienating some, I am compelled to remark: today's "march" was as much an abandonment of common sense and impartial motive as it was abandonment of the students themselves.  Nothing... I repeat, nothing... is going to be accomplished because of it.  And were I to be governor of North Carolina, there would be a dire consideration to fire every public school teacher who left their children behind for sake of this spectacle.  To not only fire them them but to furthermore forbid them employment ever again as a public teacher in North Carolina.  This was dereliction of duty and desertion of post, as much so as a soldier on guard detail.
Am I suggesting that the right to protest be revoked?  No.  Absolutely not.  But there is a right way and a wrong way to do this.  And the teachers in Raleigh and the organizers of this "march" (WHO organized it exactly?) not only violated that line, they also set a terrible example for the children they had made it a professional responsibility to nurture and encourage and educate.
If for no other reason, I would have fired every one of the teachers because they have demonstrated that they do not hold to the rule of law that is to be acknowledged and respected in this country.  Instead they opted to demonstrate something we are seeing too much of in recent months: rule by mob.  When students can leave their classes on the say-so of a young demagogue like David Hogg with the basis that it is a "media event", then those students should be penalized with an absence or an "F" for the day.  If the kids believed enough in their cause, they should be willing to suffer and endure for the cause.  Otherwise the consequence is that students can walk out of classes for any rationale at all.  "Equal access" and all of that.  Unless the schools wanna start writing lots and lots of checks to attorneys representing "aggrieved parties" denied the same accommodation.
The rule of law or the rule of mob.  We can have one or the other, but not both.
Which do the teachers want the students to better appreciate?


James in Wilkesboro said...

Exactly. Admin costs are the worst. Superintendents are paid 200-500 grand a year while the teachers buy supplies out of their own pockets. And there are too many mid level management types who do nothing what so ever. State DOE could be half its present size or less and the schools would be better. This is all about money and power and NCAE is behind it all. A teachers union in all but name.

Nikki said...

It was a Democratic Party political stunt and the teachers should be fired. And it would not have been organized if the Democrats controlled the state government.